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First Aid & Emergencies

Rape/Sexual Assault Treatment

Call 911 if the victim:

  • Has sustained a serious injury
  • Is unconscious
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  • Has sustained a serious injury
  • Is unconscious

1. Ensure Victim's Safety

  • Get the victim to a safe, secure place.
  • Call the police if there are still any signs of danger from the attacker.

2. Provide Support

  • Make sure the victim is not left alone.
  • Your local rape crisis center can provide additional support and information. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673), and the call will be directed to a rape treatment center near you.

3. Do Not Clean Up Before Receiving Medical Attention

  • To preserve evidence, the victim should not bathe, go to the bathroom, comb her hair, or change clothes until she has received a medical examination. Do not clean up anything at the site of the assault.

4. Seek Immediate Medical Attention at Doctor's Office or an Emergency Room

  • If the victim has been raped, a doctor will use a rape kit to collect hair, semen, clothing fibers, and other evidence of the attacker's identity.
  • Even if the victim is not sure she wants to report the attack, it is still important to collect and preserve evidence so it can be accessed at a later date, if necessary.
  • If the victim wishes to report the attack, the hospital staff will call the police from the emergency room.

5. Follow up

  • A doctor will treat injuries from the rape or sexual assault.
  • Victims should be treated for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and should also ask the doctor about emergency birth control. It is important to receive birth control and treatment for STDs within 72 hours of the assault for maximum effectiveness.
  • Consult your doctor or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) for referrals to support groups or mental health counselors who can help the victim deal with the trauma of rape or sexual assault. Ongoing support for rape and sexual assault victims is essential, because the trauma of such attacks can have serious long-term effects.
  • If you are a friend or relative of a rape or sexual assault victim, listen and provide ongoing support, and reassure her that she is not at fault for what happened.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on August 01, 2013

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